The Little Cabin on Campus: The History of the Heritage Cabin


November 11, 1939: During the 1939 Founders’ Day celebrations, Mars Hill College officially dedicated a historic log church in Locust Grove, near the burial site of Joe Anderson as a symbol of the institution’s dependence on small mountain churches in the early years of the school’s history. The log structure originally stood on Arrington Branch in the Grapevine Community of Madison County before being relocated to campus and rebuilt by students during the 1939 academic year. The building was one of the last small churches built entirely of log in the area. During the formal dedication, the Reverend J.R. Owens, long time past of the Mars Hill Baptist Church, was the featured speaker while Professor J.A. McLeod oversaw the special event. In 1971, the log building was once again moved to its current location on the lower quad where it was given much needed refurbishing in 1997 before being formally renamed the “Heritage Cabin.” Today, the Heritage Cabin still sits on the lower quad and is a popular photograph location for students and alumni returning to campus.

The old Log Church after it was moved to the Locust Grove on campus.
Heritage Cabin
The Heritage Cabin after refurbishing efforts, 1997.



  1. Where on campus is the Locust Grove? And what is the estimated age of the log church itself?


    • The Locust Grove is located behind the grave site of Joe Anderson, the enslaved African American who was taken as collateral by the Buncombe County Sheriff for a lean against the first building at Mars Hill. We are unsure how old the structure actually is but we do that it was being used as a one-room church up until 1932 when the new Arrington Branch Baptist Church was completed. It is commonly referred to as the oldest building standing on campus by campus historians so we know it predates the oldest original building on campus, Founders Hall, which was completed in 1892.


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